Monday, May 25, 2009

What's Wrong With This Picture?

(image from

In the movie The Devil’s Brigade, William Holden plays the CO of a special forces regiment fighting in the European theater during WWII. At the time the film was made in 1968, Holden was fifty years old. Cliff Robertson plays Holden’s Canadian battalion commander, Major Alan Crown. Robertson was forty-five. Claude Akins, James Coburn and Richard Jaeckel, all in their forties, play privates in the film. Even young Andrew Prine (as opportunistic slacker Pvt Ransom) was thirty-two.

I’m bringing this up because I was reading the comments on this New York Times story and one writer was just about having a fit because Specialist Boyd is only nineteen years old. He is shocked…shocked… that there are American teenagers fighting overseas.

News flash, buddy: Old men make wars. Young men fight them.

You do the math.


Packrat said...

Where the *heck* has that writer been? Doesn't he/she know that is why the voting age was lowered from 21 to 18 so that soldiers had the right to vote? Doesn't he/she know that is why the legal drinking age was lowered from 21 to 18 or 19 (depending on the state) when I was in college (then changed back to 21 in most places)? Doesn't he/she know that boys barely into their teens lied about their ages or had a parent give permission so that they could enlist to fight in WWII? Doesn't this person know what "caused" the Baby Boom? There were older men serving also, but mostly "mere babes". No answers needed. Just blowing off steam.

sewducky said...


I don't even know how to respond to this. Kids have always fought our wars, and us American's owe them a far greater debt of gratitude then they get in return.

Sisiggy said...

With two sons of draft age, this is always in the back of my mind. Though I honestly don't think they will re-institute the draft any time soon, I can't help look at them and think of other mothers at other times who had to watch their sons go off to war, mere kids who had to be reminded to pick up their clothes and take their elbows off the table.

We can only pray for wisdom for our leaders that these children we so carefully tended and nurtured are not squandered recklessly.